EPIC Energy Seminar: Energy Economics and Tax Incentives for Starting and Running an Energy Business

April 11, 2017 - 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM

Presenter: Randy Lucas
Principal Consultant Lucas Tax + Energy Consulting
Topic: Energy Economics and Tax incentives for Starting and Running an Energy Business

As the renewable energy industry seeks to mature and advance on an accelerated path of growth, it is becoming increasingly competitive with conventional energy and grid supplied electricity, solid project development economics (e.g. cost/benefit analyses) and strategic metrics (e.g. return on investment) are still fundamental to the success of sustaining this path for growth—in other words, the numbers must make sense to the developer and the investor.  An additional important factor to the success (or failure) of clean energy remains solid (or lack of) legislative and regulatory policy and incentives. 
Renewable energy development in 2016, for example saw a dramatic spike in solar investments as developers and investors faced fears that the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) was about to expire, yet the ITC was unexpectedly extended in the most resent tax legislation package passed by the US Congress at the end of 2015, resulting in a doubling of utility scale solar added than any previous year prior to 2016. 
Incentives are used by policymakers to motivate and generally encourage desire behaviors/outcomes in the marketplace.  Objectives for renewable energy incentives include encouragement of investment which ideally leads to long-term business and economic growth, increased employment and increased deployment to overcome barriers of entry to enter the marketplace competitively. Over time the expectation for most incentive policy theory is that incentives will create a market where the growth levels mature and prices decline.
This discussion for the EPIC Energy Series will focus on two key aspects of the leading role various renewable energy incentives in the current climate for continued successful development opportunities:  
Part I:  In consideration of the Federal, State, and in some cases Utility energy tax incentives available for use in designing or renewable energy projects in 2017-2018, there are several questions that arise for consideration: (a.) are the current energy incentives available in the current national and state environment conducive to encourage in new investment and innovation in clean energy? (b) how effective are renewable incentives or are they losing their effectiveness with corporate and individual taxpayers and institutional investors in the US?  Further, might there be a need in 2017 to consider whether there are other areas where incentives can be better utilized such as incentives for manufacturers versus incentives for end-user investors?
Part II:  Considering the robust growth of renewable energy installations in the U.S., we will examine some of the key strategies for a successful start-up in clean energy including potential pitfalls and roadblocks to avoid or navigate as the organization seeks to implement development projects.  We will include a brief discussion of the Lucas Tax + Energy Consulting’s I-4 Success Model for entrepreneurs and venture investors of clean energy start-ups as well as established organizations who are looking to embrace sustainability as a strategic management tool to use as a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

About the Speaker
Randy Lucas is the Founder and Principal Consultant for Lucas Tax + Energy Consulting headquartered in Charlotte, NC.  Lucas Tax + Energy Consulting thrives on being a ‘Remarkably Uncommon Firm’, serving as an integrated tax, accounting,  financial advisory, and management consulting firm specializing in tax incentives and energy grants for energy efficiency construction and for renewable and/or alternative energy technologies.
Randy has over 22 years of tax consulting experience and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant. Randy has presented and facilitated several technical trainings and co-authored a variety of publishings and technical articles on fixed asset depreciation and energy tax incentives at various state and national continuing education trainings and conferences throughout his career. 
He is the immediate past Chairperson of the Board of Directors for the NC Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA), a Founding Board Member of the NC Clean Energy Business Alliance (NCCEBA), and he participates as an energy efficiency and renewable energy advocate through his membership in the North Carolina Chapter of the USGBC and other sustainability and entrepreneurial organizations.